Feb 4, 2014 6:02 PM by Tina Macias

LPSS wants to discuss consultant in closed meeting

The Lafayette Parish School Board wants to meet behind closed doors tomorrow to discuss a health care consultant that might sue them.

The agenda, revised late this afternoon, only states that board would like to discuss Tikia Consulting Group in a closed meeting because of "potential litigation."

Tikia Consulting was hired last year to help choose the board's health care administrator. At the time she quoted a price of $100,000, but a contract was never signed, said Mona Bernard, director of LPSS' office of risk management.

The firm later presented a proposed contract with a $200,000 fee, Bernard said.

"We did not come to an agreement, and a contract has not been signed," Bernard said.

Although Tikia has not received payment directly from LPSS, Bernard said the consulting group has received broker compensation -- about $15,000 from Blue Cross Blue Shield, LPSS' health care administrator, and $22,000 from CVS Caremark, the prescription provider.

Blue Cross Blue Shield was awarded a 1-year extension of its existing contract after questions about the selection process arose last year. In the past, the school system's Insurance Committee worked with a consultant to find an insurance administrator. Instead, a school board committee selected the administrator.

Under Louisiana law, an executive session, or closed meeting, can only be held discuss specific issues like potential litigation after "a formal written demand," and requires an agenda to include "a statement identifying the parties involved and reasonably identifying the subject matter."

Such a statement is not included in the agenda.

The board is also set to discuss the selection of a new interim attorney -- Hammonds and Sills -- and potential fines for school board members with excessive absences.

The meeting will be held at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday at 113 Chaplin Drive in Lafayette.



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